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SP Paper 127

EE/S3/08/R4

Annual Report 2007-08

Remit and membership
Report

Introduction
Inquiries and reports
Bills
Subordinate legislation
Petitions
Innovation/Networks/Miscellaneous
Equalities
Meetings

Remit:

To consider and report on the Scottish economy, enterprise, energy, tourism and all other matters falling within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth apart from those covered by the remits of the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change and the Local Government and Communities Committees.

Membership:

Brian Adam (Deputy Convener)
Gavin Brown
Christopher Harvie
Marilyn Livingstone
Lewis Macdonald
Tavish Scott (Convener)
Dave Thompson
David Whitton

Committee Clerking Team:

Clerk to the Committee
Stephen Imrie

Senior Assistant Clerk
Katy Orr

Assistant Clerk
Gail Grant

Annual Report 2007-08

The Committee reports to the Parliament as follows—

Introduction

1. During the parliamentary year from 9 May 2007 to 8 May 2008, the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee used its first few meetings to explore issues relating to the different strands within its remit and then to launch two inquiries. These will cover the efforts needed to increase revenue from tourism and then a determination of Scotland’s energy future (from May 2008). The Committee also considered UK legislation as part of a legislative consent memorandum, scrutinised a number of statutory instruments, completed its efforts to look at the Scottish Government’s proposed budgets for 2008-09 and organised two major events, the Business in the Parliament Conference and a seminar on productivity with the STUC.
Inquiries and reports


Growing pains: can we achieve a 50% growth in tourist revenue by 2015?

2. The remit for the inquiry was to inquire into the feasibility of meeting the Scottish Government’s ambition for a 50% increase in revenue from tourism by 2015, to identify the key challenges and suggest measures to overcome these.

3. In addition to taking evidence on a broad range of related themes, a delegation of the Committee undertook fact-finding visits to Inverness and to Iceland and the whole Committee met formally in Aberdeen.

4. The inquiry is continuing and is expected to be completed by June 2008.

Energy Technologies Institute
5. The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is a public-private partnership body established by the UK Government to accelerate the development of secure, reliable and cost-effective low-carbon energy technologies towards commercial deployment. As part of the process, a UK-wide competition was held for the site of the ETI. One consortium of universities in Scotland took part in the competition but was unsuccessful. The Committee continues to investigate the reasons for this and the lessons to be learned. The inquiry is expected to be completed by June 2008.

Bills

Scottish Register of Tartans Bill
6. The Scottish Register of Tartans Bill – a non-Executive legislative proposal to establish a national register of tartans – was introduced by Jamie McGrigor MSP on 25 March 2008. The Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee has been designated as the lead Committee and has commenced its scrutiny of the general principles of the Bill. The Committee will issue its report in due course.

UK legislation

7. During the year, the Committee also considered the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Bill (UK Parliament legislation) as part of a legislative consent memorandum

Subordinate legislation

8. In this parliamentary year, the Committee dealt with two affirmative instruments—

  • the draft Renewables Obligation (Scotland) Amendment Order 2008, and;
  • the draft Official Statistics (Scotland) Order 2008.

9. The Committee recommended to Parliament that both instruments be approved.

Petitions

10. During this year, two petitions were referred to the Committee. At its meeting on 19 December 2007, after correspondence from the Scottish Government, the Committee closed both petitions. These were—

  • Petition 837 – Fitting of small scale energy generation equipment, and;
  • Petition 969 – Energy efficiency and micro-generation.

Innovation/Networks/Miscellaneous

11. As part of its efforts to engage with key groups, the Committee jointly hosted a seminar with the STUC looking at the productivity challenge and this was followed by the fourth Business in the Parliament Conference on 21–22 February, which the Committee hosts along with the Scottish Government. The latter event brought together over 250 business people, ministers and parliamentarians to discuss how to grow Scotland’s economy.

Equalities

12. The Committee has ensured that any meetings and events it organises reflect the Parliament’s guidance on these issues and endeavours to ensure that equalities issues are covered in any scrutiny of legislation or as part of any inquiry undertaken.

Meetings

13. During the parliamentary year (from 9 May 2007 to 8 May 2008), the Committee met 21 times, 0 were entirely in private and 13 were partly in private. Of the 13 meetings where some or all items were in private, 4 were to consider draft reports and others were to consider an adviser or other issues.

14. One formal committee meeting was held in Aberdeen; all others were held in Edinburgh